•                            As per the earlier instruction, after the resurrection of Jesus, all his eleven apostleswent to Mount Olive. The resurrected Jesus appeared, there, to them; they worshipped him. Approaching them Jesus said:“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given tome. Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of theFather and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And, remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”(Mt.28:18-20). The Church is at present, continuing this mission entrusted to her by Jesus.

    The Sacraments of Initiation

    Baptism, Chrismation and Holy Eucharist are called the Sacraments of Initiation because they initiate a person into the mystery of the Messiah as well as into the Church community.called the Sacraments of Initiation. (Catechism of theCatholic Church 1212). The faithful are born anew byBaptism , strengthened by the sacrament oChrismation, and receive in the Eucharist, the food ofeternal life. Thus, a person is born in the Church andgrows in divine life. Hence, in the early centuries, thesethree sacraments were given together.

                                   In the Eastern Churches, administering thesethree sacraments together is even today, beingcontinued. The candidate is given Baptism andChrismation, first of all, and then the holy Eucharist. Thetreatise 'Apostolie Tradition ' of St. Hippolytus (170-235)reports that Baptism, Chrismation and Holy Eucharistwere administered together.

    ACTIVITY - 1

    Divide the children intodifferent groups andask them to prepare achart mentioning all the rites
    in the sacrament of Baptism.Discuss also about thesymbolic meaning of these rites.


    Participation in the Death and

    Resurrection of Jesus

                     We participate in the death and resurrection ofJesus and are born anew by baptism. In baptism, we dieand resurrect with Jesus and become anew. St. Paul writes to Romans: “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized intohis death? Therefore, we have been buried with him bybaptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raisedfrom the dead by the glory of the father, so we too might walk in newness of life(Rom. 6:3-4).

                     The immersion in water, of the candidate forbaptism, indicates his death together with Jesus; and the font is seen as a symbol of the tomb.The rising up from the water denotes the resurrection with Jesus.

    Sacrament of Baptism Forgives Sins

                               Baptism is a sacrament to forgive the sins. Theoriginal sin and all personal sins, if at all any, areforgiven through baptism. We pray in the creed, “Webelieve in the baptism that absolves sins.” St. Paulteaches “that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed” (Rom. 6:6)Whenthe person receiving baptism answers: “I do” to thequestion: “Do you abandon sin and the ways to sin?,” he proclaims that he has no more connection with sin.


    Born as Children of God

                                      Jesus said to Nicodemus who came to see him by night:“….no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit”(Jn. 3:5). The Holy Spirittransforms us as children of God through baptism; theresemblance to God lost through sin is regained. We arefilled with divine life grace and made children of God and inheritors of heaven That is why St. Ephremdefines baptism as a ritual to seal the children for thekingdom of God. The fathers of the Church, hence,qualifies the font as the uterus of the Church that begets children for the Church.

    Incorporated into the Fellowship of the Church

                                     Baptism makes us organs of the mystical body of  Christ. St. Paul says:“For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.” (1 Cor. 12:13).O nce a person receives baptism, hebecomes a member of the Church, and therebybelongs to Jesus and is configured to him Jesusimprints an indelible spiritual seal on him; this seal indicates that he belongs to Jesus. Even sincannot erase this mark. So, baptism is givenonly once and for all. A baptized person is boundto be submissive to others, serve othersincorporating with the Church and obey theChurch authorities (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1269, 1272

    Baptism and Faith

                                 Baptism is a sacrament of faith. Jesus, during his resurrection, entrusted his disciples with a mission Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the wholecreation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned”(Mk. 16:15-16). Only those who believed Jesus completely were given baptism; salvation was guaranteed only to these believers. When the jailerasked Paul and Silas what he had to do to be saved, the reply given by them clarifies this: “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31). St. Paul says:“If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved”(Rom. 10:9).

                            In infant baptism, the Church considers the faith of the whole Church community.That is the reason why in infant baptism the god-father and god-mother reply to thequestions asked on behalf of the infant; moreover the faith implanted through baptism isprimary faith which should be nurtured. The faith ofthe baptized should develop properlyafter baptism; for this the Church and parents should extend help and co-operation. It is a
    duty of the Church community.


                        Chrismation is the sacrament that grants strengthand grace of the Holy Spirit to those born a new in theHoly Spirit and become children of God through Baptism, so that they can propagate the gospel of Christ and bear witness to Christ. Chrismation roots a personin the faith he received through Baptism. Thissacrament connects a person totally with the Church;and he is enriched with the power of the Holy Sprit. TheCatholic Church teaches that chrismation is a must forthe completion of the grace received in baptism. Thissacrament leads a person, reborn through baptism, toChristian maturity and enables him to bear witness toJesus courageously and with the grace of the Holy Spirit.


     Jesus, Anointed by the Spirit

                          Messiah' in the Syriac language means the'anointed.' Jesus is anointed by the Holy Spirit. The HolySpirit descended in the form of a dove and anointedJesus, during his baptism. Filled with the Holy Spirit andto fulfill the salvific scheme entrusted upon him, Jesus,with firm determination and awareness of his mission,reached the synagogue in Nazareth and started hispublic life. The Holy Spirit empowered him to execute the redemptive mission.

    The Apostles Filled with the Spirit

                    Jesus, even before death, promised to his disciples the Holy Spirit (Jn.14:26). Jesus breathed upon them and gave them the Holy Spirit (Jn. 20: 22-23). On the day of the Pentecost, theHoly Spirit descended upon the apostles engrossed in prayer, in the dining hall in Sehion, in the form of tongues of fire and strengthened them for apostolic work.

    ACTIVITY - 2

    Write a paragraph mentioning the activities of theHoly Spirit based on the passages Lk. 3: 22; 4: 1;
    4: 18; Acts. 2: 3-4; 4: 8; 5: 32; 6: 10; 7:55; 8: 29, 39; 10: 19; 11: 12; 13: 2,4.

    The Ancient Christians Filled with the Spirit

                                     The ancient Christians,who believed in Jesus and borewitness to him, were filled with the S p i r i t . T h e H o l y S p i r i tstrengthened them to sacrificetheir lives for the sake of faith andbecome martyrs. St. Stephen isan example  We come acrossspecial prayers for conferring theHoly Spirit in the descriptions of baptism given in the Acts of the Apostles. Peter and Paul prayed that the Samaritans, who received baptism, should receivethe Holy Spirit (Acts 8:14-17). We see in the Acts of the Apostles that when the apostlesprayed laying hands on them the baptized received the Holy Spirit (Acts 19:1-7).

    Transforms us as the Temples of the Holy Spirit

                                     A Christian, who through baptism participates in the death and resurrection of Jesusand is filled with the Holy Spirit through Chrismation, is the temple of the Holy Spirit. St. Paul says: “Do you not know that you are God's temple, and that God's Spirit dwells in you?”  (1 Cor.3:16). We become children of God when we are led by the spirit of God dwelling within us.

    Imparts Strength to the Christian life

                               Every Christian shares the Pentecostal experience through chrismation  We undertakethe mission of being witnesses to Christ through thoughts, words, and deeds and even byrisking our own lives. Being filled with the Holy Spirit, we must be ready to proclaim thismission entrusted by the apostles until the end of the world. It should be executed through theChurch. Our responsibility to the Church is but the responsibility to Jesus. Chrismation grantsus the necessary blessings and grace to be an active member of the Church and live in themission with Christ.

                                      Let us receive the sacraments of Baptism, Chrismation and the Eucharist and become
    firm in faith so as to produce good fruits of faith and love.

    LET US


    (Jn. 3 : 1 - 8)

    A Verse to Remember

    “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God
    without being born of water and Spirit”
    (Jn. 3:5)

    Let us Pray

    O! Jesus, who granted us the favour to become children
    of God through baptism, please bless us to fill ourselves with
    the Holy Spirit and bear witness to the gospel.

    My Resolution

    I will lead a life befitting a child of God and bear witness to love.

    Teachings of the Fathers of the Church

    O! How beautiful is the womb (the font) that begot a painless
    birth to the children of the kingdom. Grace this womb begets, the altar
    would sustain them. Their children drink no milk, but feed on perfect bread.
    (St. Ephrem)